Friday, December 2, 2016

Meditation Not Medication For ADHD: Study Shows Kids Meditating Is Better

Meditation Not Medication For ADHD: Study Shows Kids Meditating Is Better
By Kurt Brighton

Breakthrough Meditation Study Results in Better-Adjusted, Happier Kids--Without Dangerous Drugs

Imagine a choice: giving your child a lifelong prescription drug habit or taking half an hour a day to sit quietly with him or her. Which will it be?

I think it’s safe to say most people would choose what’s behind curtain number 2.

The thing is, most people aren’t given such a choice, at least not when it comes to treating kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD--a dubious proposition to begin with. And as has been made abundantly clear, the medical/pharmaceutical industry responds to every ailment with a flurry of prescriptions and medications--even for the ailments they invent themselves. 

Whether ADHD is an invented condition or not--a subject that has been hotly debated--one thing that is undeniable is that it is indisputably an over-diagnosed and over-prescribed condition.

And that means big money.

ADHD medication sales have grown by 8 percent each year since 2000. In 2016, sales are projected to grow by an astounding 13 percent, raising the drug sales to an eye-popping $12.9 billion annually. The ADHD sector alone is expected to continue to grow at about 6 percent a year, topping out in 2020 at $17.5 billion in sales.

But, much to the chagrin of the people who make money selling these powerful amphetamines to children, more options may be opening up for parents trying to cope with a child with ADHD. A study by the David Lynch Foundation has found that meditation can help children diagnosed with ADHD in a variety of ways.

They call it the Quiet Time program, and it has proven to be groundbreaking in scope and  efficacy, providing kids with two 15-minute sessions of Transcendental Meditation each day, with outcomes that were almost universally positive. They saw:

  • Reduction of symptoms of ADHD and learning disorders
  • Test scores increasing by 10 percent
  • A 65 percent drop in violent conflicts
  • Suspension dropping by 86 percent
  • Reported psychological distress including stress, anxiety and depression dropping by 40 percent.

Best of all, at least from the perspective of skeptical teachers, the institute found that a pleasant side effect of the program was that they had significantly increased teacher retention and reduced teacher burnout.

To be sure, the program has been praised by people who were meditation fans to begin with. But the Lynch Foundation also heard from many people whose background is rooted in traditional education.

“The Quiet Time Program is the most powerful, effective program I’ve come across in my 40 years as a public school educator,” said James S. Dierke, executive vice president of the American Federation of School Administrators. “It is nourishing these children and providing them an immensely valuable tool for life.

“It is saving lives,” he added.

Indeed, if there is an alternative to starting a child on addictive amphetamines, why on earth would any parent or educator not give it a try?

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